Once we hit the 50plus age group, we can expect to see a variety of health conditions rearing their heads that we previously may not have experienced. This does not have to be viewed as a negative; after all, our body is a complex machine and like all sophisticated organisms, it will begin to show signs of wearing out unless we take extra care of it.
By being aware of these ten common health conditions that are more relevant to those of us in the 50plus age group, you may not stop diseases affecting you totally but you can certainly build up defences and make sure that your body fights them off where possible. For many of us, every year over 50 that we tot up, could mean us having to carefully manage and live with certain conditions, so learn to take it in your stride by being prepared.
The obvious things to do are to give up smoking, don’t carry any excess weight, keep active and develop and maintain a healthy diet. You will then fall into the category of the many people over 50 who have good health and enjoy life to the full.
These then are our top ten health conditions to watch out for at 50plus:
Health conditions to look out for at 50plus
This can create pain in the joints and can even reduce quality of life if it really gets hold. If you have signs of this, you may think it best to be less mobile but that is not the case. You need to put together an activity plan that will keep your joints working; talk to your doctor if you are unsure of how to manage the condition.
This is still the main killer in elderly adults, tending to affect more men than women. Things like high blood pressure and cholesterol can increase the chances of stroke and various heart conditions. The advice here is to eat well, exercise and get plenty of sleep. Keep your weight healthy and don’t over indulge in too many foods that are high in fat or sugar. For more information regarding cardiovascular disease, why not follow this link to the British Heart Foundation.
Cancer comes second on the list of leading causes of death with many adults over 65 living with cancer; 28% men and 21% women. Whilst you may not be able to avoid cancer, taking advantage of screening programmes such as mammograms, bowel cancer screening, skin and prostate tests is a good idea. If cancer is detected early on, treatment is likely to be more successful and the possibility of living with cancer a far more likely one.
Diseases such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are next on the list. As we age, many of us end up living with such things as asthma, bronchitis or even emphysema so if you have breathing issues, always contact your doctor. He can organise lung function tests to be carried out and can issue you with medication or oxygen to help preserve your health and quality of life.
A chronic condition, diagnosing Alzheimer’s can be difficult but experts do agree that as we age, our health can be negatively affected by cognitive impairment. Whilst it is not a disease that we can avoid, early detection is crucial, whether it is you or a loved one that is experiencing problems. With much research in place looking at cures for the disease, until they are found, treatment mainly involves issues of personal care and safety and maintaining quality of life.
Millions of us are affected by osteoporosis once we hit 50 and this can result in us becoming less mobile and even partially disabled. Taking care of your bone health is crucial as you age so always ensure that you are getting sufficient vitamins and minerals in order to avoid breaks or fractures. Ensure that your diet includes plenty of fruit and vegetables as well as the following, or add supplements if required:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
Diabetes poses a significant risk to health once we hit 50 but it can be detected early on with blood tests. If you suspect diabetes, the earlier it is picked up, the more chance you have of controlling the disease and improving your long-term health outlook.
Influenza and Pneumonia
Whilst they are not chronic conditions, both can cause death as we age, particularly once we are over 65 and complications more likely to develop. Always take advantage of annual flu shots provided by your health clinic as these are usually free once you are aged 50plus or if you have conditions such as asthma.
Being obese means that we are far more at risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, all chronic conditions that can shorten our life span. If you feel that you are overweight or your BMI is 30 or more, it may be time to look at doing something about it. Carrying extra baggage in the form of excess pounds is like doing everything with a heavy pack on your back; walking and any form of mobility will become much more difficult. Watch your weight and keep as active as possible.
A threat at any age but even more so as we age, depression can lower our immunity and make us much more susceptible to infection or disease. If this is something that is bothering you, see your doctor. Not only can he help with medication or counselling but he may also recommend that you become more active or take part in more social events or combine the two by joining groups such as a walking group.
Sadly, many older people report that they spend very little time with family or friends, thereby exacerbating the problem of depression.
Hitting 50 is something to celebrate, after all it is a huge milestone in life, but don’t become complacent. Watch out for these 10 health conditions and others like them and do your best to keep looking and feeling good.
Here on The Best of Health, we cover all these subjects in much more detail, so if you would like further information, don’t hesitate to search the Health & Wellbeing Menu for advice about a specific condition. If you would like to Share any of this information with friends or loved ones, especially those in the 50plus age group, please do so via the links at the foot of the page.
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